Cocurricular Service-Learning Through a Camp for Athletes With Visual Impairments

Wesley J. Wilson, Justin A. Haegele, Steven K. Holland, K. Andrew R. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Service-learning (SL) has become popular as part of the formal curriculum and as cocurricular experiences for college students. Some SL programs serve individuals with disabilities, but their influence on college volunteers is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences and perspectives of preprofessional college students who volunteered at a cocurricular, SL-based sports camp for youth with visual impairments. Participants included nine (five males and four females) preservice professionals who taught youth with visual impairments during the week-long sports camp. Data were collected using semistructured and conversational interviews, reflective journaling, and participatory observations. Four themes were constructed: (a) camp experience elicited a strong emotional response, (b) fostering professional growth and development, (c) doing too much and expecting too little, and (d) developing close bonds with the athletes. This study highlights the benefits of developing cocurricular SL programs for college students across a variety of fields.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Adapted physical activity
  • Case study design
  • Experiential learning theory
  • Preprofessional students
  • Volunteerism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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